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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Control (01/30/06)

TITLE: Commander in Chief
By Rachel White


“Kevin, honey, breakfast is ready,” Megan called to her husband.

“Be there in a second.”

Megan turned back to the frying pan full of scrambled eggs and poured them into a serving bowl. A tear slipped down her cheek and landed on top of them as she set them on the table. Today would be the last day for at least a year she would go through this routine, the last time she would be able to call down the hallway and hear his familiar voice respond. The day she had been dreading for months had finally come, the day her beloved husband of three years was being deployed to Iraq. He had gone away before, but never for so long, and never to somewhere so dangerous and far away.

She brushed the tears away with the back of her hand, wishing it were just as easy to brush aside the lump in her throat.

Kevin walked up behind Megan and placed a kiss on the top of her head. She savored the familiar smell of his aftershave, and would have told him so had she been able to find her voice. Instead, she turned around and put her head on his chest.

After a few moments, Megan reluctantly pulled away. “The food is getting cold.”

They sat down to eat, but neither managed to swallow much of the fare.

“Are you scared?” Megan asked.

Kevin shrugged. “A little, I suppose.”

“Well, I’m absolutely terrified.” She shuddered as she recalled all the images she had seen of the war-torn country on the news.

“I’ve trained pretty hard, and so have the other guys… most of the other guys, anyway. Besides, I have an excellent commander in chief.”

Megan looked at him, confused. “You mean George Bush?”

“Not that commander in chief, the other one,” he said while pointing heavenward with his fork “The one who is in control of both sides of this war.”

“Oh, you mean God.” Megan smiled. “I like that. I never quite thought of God that way before, but it makes sense.”

“Kevin reached over and grabbed his wife’s hand. “I sure am going to miss seeing that smile every day.” His eyes glistened with unshed tears.

Megan wanted to say that she would miss him, too, and that she loved him, but she did not trust her voice, so she squeezed his hand hard, hoping he would get the meaning.
Finally, with a shaky voice, she said “I guess I’m going to have to put you in the care of your commander in chief.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 02/06/06
Very nicely written. My favourite line: “The one who is in control of both sides of this war.” We don't often think about that truth, and I'm glad you shared it. Thanks for the reminder.
Jan Ackerson 02/08/06
Very well done. I like the little details, like the lump in her throat, and a few paragraphs later, being unable to swallow. Little touches like that really distinguish a good writer.
Nina Phillips02/09/06
This was very naturally portrayed. Good realistic writing on your part. Thank you for sharing and God bless you and yours, littlelight
Phyllis Inniss02/10/06
A very touching scene. You have expressed the couple's emotions very well and their solace in their Commander-in-Chief.
Virginia Gorg02/14/06
I like the last line. My son-in-law spent seven months in Iraq and I know my daughter had much of these feelings. Most people have no idea what our troops see overseas, but God is always in control and sees all. There is a huge comfort in that. Thanks.